Advice issued following reports of basking sharks being disturbed in Aberdeenshire
Officers have been made aware of some vessels, paddle boarders and kayakers getting close to these animals and potentially causing a disturbance to them.
Wildlife Crime and Environmental Officer, Constable Hannah Corbett said: “These animals are wonderful to watch but I would encourage people to remember that they are a protected species and it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly disturb them.
“If you are out on the water and lucky enough to see a basking shark near you or your vessel, avoid making changes in speed or direction.
"Please keep your distance and do not chase or attempt to feed or touch them.
“If you see anything that you suspect to be causing Marine Wildlife disturbance, report it to Police Scotland by calling 101.”
Everyone should follow the Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code.
For further information please go to SMWWC : https://www.nature.scot/scottish-marine-wildlife-watching-code-smwwc-part-1 or A Guide to Best Practice for Watching Marine Wildlife https://www.nature.scot/guide-best-practice-watching-marine-wildlife-smwwc-part-2.”
The basking shark is the second-largest living shark and fish after the whale shark and one of three plankton-eating shark species along with the whale shark and megamouth shark.